Birthdays

Basic Pound Cake

August 30, 2012

Basic Pound Cake

The simplest of cakes is the most delicious and it goes well with everything.  You can flavor your pound cake any way you like or just serve it with berries or ice cream.  This truly is an easy cake to make.  Make sure that your eggs are room temperature and that you beat the butter and sugar long enough so that the batter is fluffy.  Once you’ve added the flour be sure not to overmix the cake.  You don’t want your pound cake to be tough. 

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 1/4 Cups Sugar

1/2 Pound Softened Butter

5 Large Eggs

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 Cup Half & Half

Preheat your oven to 325° F.  Grease and flour a loaf pan.  If you don’t have a loaf pan then use a bundt pan.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour and salt.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl beat the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes.  I use an electric mixer on low for this. Add the eggs one at a time.  After the third egg add 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture.  Beat for 10 seconds.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice.  Put down your electric mixer and mix in the flour by hand.  Add the flour in thirds.  Alternate with the half & half.  Make sure not to overmix.  Pour the batter evenly in the pan and tap it on the counter to get out air bubbles.  Bake for 1 hour on the middle rack.  After 50 minutes check to see if the cake is done.  The top will spring back when you touch it.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Turn the cake out onto a rack and when thoroughly cool wrap in foil and store in a tightly sealed container.  Wait 24 hours before slicing it.  The good news is that pound cakes will keep in the freezer for months so this is a great “make ahead” recipe.  Serves 16

Victoria’s Carrot Cake

August 9, 2012

Victoria’s Carrot Cake

If you’ve never eaten my Carrot Cake then you are in for a real treat.  I rarely share this recipe and have had people beg me over the years to make my Carrot Cake for various occasions.  Now you can make my cake in your own home. 

INGREDIENTS

5 Lightly Beaten Eggs

2 Cups Sugar

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3 1/2 Cups Finely Shredded Carrots

3/4 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Take the eggs out of the refrigerator and let them sit for 30 minutes to bring them to room temperature.  Prepare two 8×1 1/2 inch round cake pans (grease well).  In a large size bowl stir together the flour, surgar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  In a separate large bowl combine the eggs, carrots, oil and vanilla.  Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined, but don’t over mix.  Pour the batter evenly into the two greased cake pans.  Bake for 35 minutes until done.  Remove the cake pans from the oven and let them cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove the cake from the pans and allow the cake to completely cool on the wire racks.  Assemble and frost the middle, sides and top with cream cheese frosting.  Cover and store the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Serves 12

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

INGREDIENTS

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

1 Cup Softened Butter

3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

7 Cups Powdered Sugar

In a large size bowl beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla with a mixer on medium until fluffy.  Slowly beat in the powdered sugar.  Beat for 2 minutes to make sure to get all of the powdered sugar lumps out and the frosting is at spreading consistency.  If you need more powdered sugar feel free to add more.  Makes about 4 cups. 

Busy Day Cake

August 3, 2012

Busy Day Cake

Everyone needs to have my Busy Day Cake recipe at their fingertips.  It’s great to have in a pinch.  Top it off with whipped cream and berries or top it with your favorite ice cream or drizzle with honey, chocolate or caramel sauce.  Any of these toppings will make this cake a special-day treat. 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/3Cups Unbleached Flour

2/3 Cup Sugar

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

2/3 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

2 Eggs

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

 

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Grease and flour an 8×1 1/2 inch round cake pan and set aside.  In a large size bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder.  Add the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla.  Beat on a low speed with an electric mixer until combined.  Beat for another minute on medium speed, but don’t over beat.  Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until done.  When you insert a wooden toothpick near the center is should come out clean.  When done remove from the oven and cool in the pan, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes.   Loosen the sides of the cake and invert onto a cake plate.  Cool for 20 to 30 minutes.  Serve warm with berries & whipped cream, ice cream or honey or caramel sauce.  Serves 8

Victoria’s Chocolate Cake

July 12, 2012

Victoria’s Chocolate Cake

I have a real hankering for good old fashioned chocolate cake.  It doesn’t take long to make and is super yummy.  Everyone will be singing your praises if you decide to give this recipe a spin. 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Cup Sugar

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup Buttermilk (you can use sour milk)

3/4 cup Melted Butter

3 Eggs

 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 inch cake pan and set aside. Sift the flour and then mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Melt butter and add to dry ingredients. Next add eggs and buttermilk to dry ingredients. Mix everything together until smooth with an electric mixer. Pour into pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. When done remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. After the cake has cooled, slice cake in half to make 2 layers. It is easier to slice if the cake has been refrigerated for a couple of hours. Frost with Chocolate Butter Frosting. Use 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers, 1/3 on top and the rest around the cake. Victoria's Chocolate Cake should be served at room temperature. Serves 12

 

**To Make Sour Milk: 3/4 cup of milk and add either two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for five to ten minutes

 

Chocolate Butter Frosting

3/4 Cup Softened Butter (1 1/2 Sticks)

2 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

4 Squares (4 ounces) Semisweet Chocolate – Melted & Cooled

2 Squares (2 ounces) Unsweetened Chocolate – Melted & Cooled

 

In a large bowl, with a mixer at low speed, combine butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar.  Mix until almost combined.  Next add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates.  Increase the speed to high, beat frosting until light and fluffy which should be for about one minute.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups

 

Super Moist Chocolate Layer Cake

June 4, 2012

Super Moist Chocolate Layer Cake

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

2 Cups Sugar

5 Eggs (Room Temperature)

3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

4 Squares (1 Ounce Each) Melted & Cooled Unsweetened Chocolate

2 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk or Sour Milk

 

Preheat your oven to 325° F.  In a large size bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Add the melted chocolate.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add alternately to the batter along with the buttermilk.  Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.  Divide the batter evenly between the pans.  Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pans.  Remove from the pans and cool completely before frosting. 

 

Chocolate Frosting:

1 Cup Softened Butter (2 Sticks)

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Powdered Sugar

2 Tablespoons Milk or Cream

3 Squares (1 Ounce Each) Melted & Cooled Unsweetened Chocolate

 

In a large size bowl combine the butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar and beat at a low speed.  Stir in the milk and melted chocolate.  Beat until fluffy.  Place one cake layer on a cake plate.  Spread a thick layer of frosting.  Place the second layer on top of the frosting and frost the top layer and sides.  Serves 10

Camille’s Chocolate Cheesecake

May 1, 2012

Camille’s Chocolate Cheesecake

If you want friends then make this cheesecake!

INGREDIENTS

Cheesecake Crust:

1 1/3 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/2 Stick Butter

1 Tablespoon Cocoa

 

Cheesecake:

12 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate (Chopped Small)

3 (8 Ounces Each) Packages of Cream Cheese

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Tablespoon Custard Powder

3 Large Eggs

3 Large Egg Yolks

2/3 Cup Sour Cream

1/2Teaspoon Cocoa (Dissolved in 1 Tablespoon Hot Water)

 

Sauce:

3 Ounces Finely Chopped Bittersweet Chocolate

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

1 Teaspoon Dark Corn Syrup

 

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  For the crust put the graham crackers in either a blender or food processor.  Add the butter and cocoa.  Pulse until the crumbs are damp.  Pour the crumbs mixture into a 9 inch springform pan.  Spread evenly into the bottom of the pan and press well.  Place into the freezer while you are preparing the filling.

To make the filling:  Boil a small pan of water.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then set it aside to slightly cool.  Beat the cream cheese to get it nice and soft.  Add the powdered sugar and the custard powder.  Beat again until well combined.  Add the 3 eggs and also the additional 3 egg yolks.  Beat for 20 seconds.  Add the sour cream, the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate.  Beat until you have a smooth batter. 

Remove the pan from the freezer and pour in the cheesecake filling.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour.  You will notice that the top of the cheesecake will be set, but the underside will have a bit of a jiggle to it.  Don’t worry about that.  Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake fully cool, in the pan, on a wire rack.  When it is fully cooled cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.  When you are ready to serve remove from the fridge and let it sit on the courter for 45 minutes before removing from the springform pan. 

Remove from the pan and place on a cake plate.  To make the chocolate sauce: Slowly melt the chocolate, cream and syrup in a double boiler.  When the chocolate has almost melted remove from the heat and whisk it to make a smooth sauce.  Let the sauce cool, on the counter, for 10 minutes and then pour over the cheesecake on the cake plate.  Serves 8

 

*Note: You should be able to find custard powder in any British section of the grocery store.  I usually use Birds Custard. 

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

April 15, 2012

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This cake is moist, tender, golden brown and very velvety.  It has all the richness and pure buttery flavor of classic pound cake, but with a delicate tang. 

INGREDIENTS

3 Cups Cake Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

4 Large Room Temperature Eggs

2 Room Temperature Egg Yolks

1/4 Cup Milk

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Sugar

24 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (3 Sticks)

6 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

 

Before you turn on the oven adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Preheat your oven to 300° F.  Grease and flour 12 cup nonstick Bundt pan.  In a medium size bowl, combine the flour and salt.  In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup whisk the eggs, 2 yolks, milk and vanilla.  In a separate large size bowl, beat together (by hand or with an electric mixer) the sugar, butter and cream cheese for 3 minutes until fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low and very slowly add the egg mixture until incorporated.  The batter may look slightly curdled.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Give the batter a final stir by hand.  Scrap the batter into a prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles.  Bake for 80 to 90 minutes.  Rotate the pan halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely, for about 2 hours.  Serve plain or topped with frosting or fruit.  Serves 12

Ciambellone

April 7, 2012

Ciambellone

Ciambellone or Italian Easter Bread is a ring shaped cake is lightly sweetened and flavored with lemon zest and sometimes dried fruit. Romans like to serve it for Easter breakfast.

INGREDIENTS

4 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ Cup Sugar

½ Cup Milk

¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest

½ Cup Softened Butter

½ Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Egg

Powdered Sugar For Dusting

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the flour on your work surface creating a well in the center. Alternating, add the dry and wet ingredients to the well. After each ingredient is added mix well with your fingers or a fork. Add more flour if needed to make the dough workable. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Shape the dough into a ring. Beat the egg lightly with water. Brush the top of the ring with the egg wash. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. If you want your ring to be perfectly uniform then you can use a springform pan with the center insert. This will allow you to have a picture perfect ciambellone. Dust the ciambellone with powdered sugar or you could use colored sugar as a topping. Serves 8

Coconut Cake

April 4, 2012

Coconut Cake

This week is Easter and coconut cake is on my mind. I wanted to make a cake that is a bit more traditional. Enjoy this time with family and friends and have a Happy Easter.

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ Cup Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

¾ Teaspoon Salt

½ Cup Softened Butter

1 Cup Sugar

2 eggs

2/3 Cup Milk

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

2/3 Cup Coconut

Additional Coconut For Garnish

Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a large bowl cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Next add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Mix well. Add the coconut. Pour the batter into two prepared 8 inch round cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans, on wire racks, for 15 minutes. Remove from the cake pans and cool completely. Frost and top with more coconut.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

½ Cup Softened Butter

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Powdered Sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

Spice Pound Cake

March 29, 2012

Spiced Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Butter

1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg, Mace or Cinnamon

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 2/3 Cups Sugar

5 Eggs

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Soften the butter and add the spice of your choice and the salt. Beat for 4 minutes with an electric beater or 8 minutes by hand. Gradually blend in the sugar until fluffy, beating 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in the flour. Turn the mixture into a well greased and lightly floured bundt pan or 9×3 ½ inch tube cake pan. Preheat your oven to 350°. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out cleans. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn out on a wire rack to finish cooling. Serves 8

Latest Recipes

Blackberry Coconut Bars copy 2

Blackberry Coconut Bars

Ginger Jicama Salad copy

Ginger Jicama Salad

Asparagus With Brown Butter, Capers & Toasted Almonds

Asparagus With Brown Butter, Capers & Toasted Almonds

Berry Crumble copy

Dairy Free Berry Crumble

Mediterranean Bean Salad copy

Mediterranean Bean Salad